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I just read Ann's article on the pitfalls of market timing. I myself discovered years ago that I don't have the psychic talent or whatever it takes, so buy'n'hold makes sense to me. I know I can't sense the tops and bottoms, yet in this volatile market I think it may be reasonable to play around just a little bit....

Last week I bought into the FF for the first time. I had the most honorable of intentions, but I was just a little bothered by the fact that I had bought UK --it was on the FF list-- when what I really wanted was EK, which was not on the list. Then, a couple of days later, when EK took UK's place on the list, I said, "Hey, why not, just this once - ?" So I picked up the phone and called in to switch UK for EK, and just for the heck of it I checked the prices of all my FF stocks. Lo and behold, they were all up, and I thought, "Buy low, sell high, right?," and with a few impulsive stabs at the telephone buttons I made $3000. Gosh. That was easy.

So now I have to buy the FF stocks again. I figure it's a pretty safe bet that the DJIA is going to drop 400-500 points or so at some time over the next ten or twenty business days, and when it does I'll buy.

Maybe it won't drop; maybe it'll just keep going up, and I will have conned myself out of some money. But it seems more likely, given the number and volatile nature of the economic and political situations that govern its rise and fall, that teh Dow is going to keep see-sawing from week to week for a long time, regardless of whether its long-term trend is up or down. In those sees and saws there must be quite a bit of opportunity, and what better investment advisor is there than the FF list? Good companies at bargain prices: buy and sell or buy and hold, you can make money either way.

I know that fooling with the FF is frowned upon, but isn't managing risk what Foolishness is all about?

One other thought: I know that the RP has been all worked out and back-tested, but it seems that when you're playing with the Low-Priced HY 10, you can almost use a dart board to make your picks. Since at least some of the RP picks can change every couple of days of so, I wonder if the discipline may be just a tad overstated.

In any event, I owe a huge debt of gratitude to all of you Fools for collectively giving me the kick I needed to get out of mutual funds and into individual stocks.


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When Life Gives You Lemons
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